If you are a ticket-holder for the Indianapolis 500 and you renewed your tickets for the upcoming race, chances are that you’ve received a package in the mail this week from IMS president Doug Boles. If you haven’t received yours yet, you might want to stop reading now if you don’t want me top spoil the surprise.
But if you’ve already gotten yours or don’t care about surprises; the Speedway sent out a commemorative DVD about last year’s Indianapolis 500 to (I assume) all ticket holders of record from last year’s race or those that renewed by the June deadline.
Those that held tickets in the last decade know that this was a regular thing back then, but the gesture mysteriously stopped after the 2008 race DVD was shipped. From 2009 through 2015, no DVD’s were shipped to ticket-holders. At least none were sent to those of us who sat in the less-expensive seats. Perhaps suite-holders or those with seats in the Paddock Penthouse got them, but us common-folk did not.
But Doug Boles continues to baffle the IMS brain trust behind the scenes, by thinking of the fans – and more importantly, thinking like the fans and giving us what we want. He could have not gone to the trouble or expense to put this DVD together and ship it out in January when fans are starving for a taste of racing. No one would have given it a single thought, because none of us were expecting it. But he did do it because he thinks down the road. He wants to give fans yet another reason to keep coming back, year after year.
The DVD itself is very well done. The main feature runs for one-hundred minutes – an hour and forty minutes to tell the story of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. It not only gives a nice overview of the race, complete with interspersed interviews of race-winner Alexander Rossi and quasi-car owner Bryan Herta – but it also starts with the reconfiguration of the infield road course in 2013, the beginning of Project 100.
Then it goes to Midnight on the Yard of Bricks, when fans were invited to the Speedway last February when the countdown to the race was at one-hundred days. It quickly covered the Grand Prix of Indianapolis to kick off the Month of May, then it went into an in-depth look at the week of practice leading up to Qualifying weekend.
I made one comment to my One Take Only cohort John McLallen that I thought it followed eventual winner Rossi a little too closely. Yes, it covered some of the contact between cars and of course, the crashes; but I would have liked for them to focus more on the multiple battles up front before Rossi coasted to the win. John disagreed with me and he’s probably right. He said Rossi won the race and should have gotten most of the attention. I’ll be curious to hear from those that have already seen it and hear what they think.
I still have the 2016 Indianapolis 500 on my DVR, but other than watching it right after we got home last May – I haven’t viewed it again since. It was good to get to see it all unfold again eight months later.
While some will accuse me of sucking up to Speedway management, I would like to personally thank Doug Boles for doing something he didn’t have to do. Not only was it nice to watch a recap of the race in January, but this will be a great keepsake for years to come. If this was a one-time gift to commemorate the 100th Running, it was very much appreciated. If this is going to become the new norm after every race – even better. But even if this is a one-time gift, it’s good enough for me.
I am very encouraged by the management team in place at both IndyCar and IMS. Jay Frye is making huge strides for the Verizon IndyCar Series, while Doug Boles works tirelessly to bring the Indianapolis 500 back to being the place where everyone wants to be. The commemorative DVD is a very nice touch that I think everyone will appreciate.
Thank you, Mr. Boles.